Author’s note for “Desperate Crimes”, the next Bill Travis mystery.

Posted: August 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

Desperate Crimes

Here’s the Author’s Note for Desperate Crimes, which is decidedly coming soon: (please note that sometimes these things get written before the book is actually done. Just sayin’.)


Those of you who have read this far in the series know that I started it a little more than a decade ago, and it’s been adding to itself as the years have gone by. For instance, when I wrote The Last Call, there were still phone booths everywhere (they had not yet gone the way of the Diplodocus or the Iguanadon), and most people who had cellular phones had the Captain Kirk flip-top kind. Pretty much each book (with the exception of Arrowmoon, which was actually written second) was written so that the story would reflect that year, even though I never overtly mentioned what year it is. I left little clues along the way, though. Now I find that it has worked out better that I did it that way.

By the time this little gem reaches your ebook reader (or possibly your bookshelf), Jennifer, who was born in the midst of Longnecks & Twisted Hearts, is now eight years old. And boy, that girl has got something to say!

So, book eleven is now done, and you’ve just perused it. I hope it measured up. The next one up in the batter’s box is Mexico Fever, and I’ve been writing on it when taking breaks from this current one. My thinking is nefarious, you have to realize. My plan was to release them practically back-to-back, and then, badoom!, I could instantly release Omnibus 3 (books nine through twelve). I’ll tell you, these days you can’t just be a writer. You have to be a planner, a strategist, a logistics expert, a marketer, a social personality (for all those events I keep getting invited to speak at) and a social media guru. (We won’t even discuss having to be an editor!) But during all this time while I was writing these books—and others—a strange, otherworldly thing started to happen: Bill Travis developed…a following! Wier, not nearly so much. But Travis, now. That guy’s got it going on! Case in point: I’m surfing around on Facebook, reading the feeds and such and I get a new “friend” request. I take a look at the person and she looks all right—by which I mean, not a shill—so I click that nice little blue “ACCEPT” button. Instantly I get a comment on one of my posts about how she can’t wait for the next Bill Travis book. I fire a comment back about how I’m working on it. I note the time: it’s nearly 3:00 a.m. I mean, hell, Bill and Julie ought to be in bed about now, snoring away in the dark with fish shadows swimming around the walls. So, it made me curious. I mean, who the hell is this lady? Why isn’t she asleep? So, I send her a message, asking her. Well, it’s about seven hours later for her. She lives in Bristol, England. I mean, yes, I knew the books were selling well in England, and for that matter, Australia. But, these folks want their Bill Travis fix too! Not only that, when she and her husband come to Austin, Sallie and I will act as guides, showing them all the really cool (and otherwise hidden) stuff. I’m telling you, it never ends. And, I suppose I’d better up and confess right now, I don’t ever want it to. So what’s a fellow to do? Write…faster!

I suppose that’s all I know to do.

Okay, so I have to confess something else to you kind folks, right down here in the Amen corner where we are all baring our souls: I keep a writing journal. It’s not much, I assure you. The paper doesn’t even have any lines. You see, it’s Tibetan paper. It’s made by monks, or something. I mean, this paper is spiritual. So, I have to actually write something on it! The only thing I knew to write was the date and what was going on: what my plans were, what projects were hot and which were not, my insights—honestly, I have so few of those these days—that kind of stuff. Well, the other night while I was writing in my little magic pixie-dust Tibetan writing journal, I realized something. (Appropriate drum roll, please. Thank you.) Okay, I’m sure most of you know that I work on a number of projects at a time. For instance, I’m currently collaborating with Billy Kring on the third Far Journey Chronicles book, 1904: Journey into Time, and I’m also collaborating with T.R. Harris on the next science fiction Liberation series book, Captains Malevolent and with Robert A. “Robbie” Taylor on the next Vindicators sci-fi. Additionally, there’s the Long Fall From Heaven sequel I’m penning, tentatively entitled Boland’s War, and there’s the one I just knocked off and forwarded to my editor at St. Martins Press in New York entitled Errant Knight, yet another standalone mystery. Well, without giving you the titles to all of them, I’m working on eleven—count ‘em, ELEVEN!—books at one time. But here’s the funny part. In my own mind, not any one of those books that I’m working on is THE book. Allow me to explain. Every writer from time immemorial wishes, deep down in the dregs of his writing soul, to write THE book. Not just the bestseller, or the award- winner, or the fifty-million dollar book. No, I’m talking about the book that will turn said author into some kind of literary god, complete with golden rays from heaven. “So?” you might say. “What’s this got to do with the report on toilet seat indices in Greater China?” Well, it speaks volumes. It’s essentially that all I’m doing is living in the future. I’m not right here with the rest of you. I’m at least a year up the road, hoping to write that magical golden tome. Well, guess what? By all appearances—and this is the big joke, and the joke, I am finding, is all on me—I may have already written that book. I mean, what are the odds that I haven’t? I’m fifty years old, for crying out loud. I’ve been writing seriously for what, twenty-nine years? Yep. Twenty-nine years. How many more years do I have? I dunno. I don’t want to think about it. Do I know what that special, once in a lifetime book is? Nope. Haven’t a clue. It’s never given to the writer to know. By definition, it’s supposed to surpass his lifetime. I mean, how cruel is that? Hmph. You’re not supposed to fool Mother Nature, you can’t speed up the harvest, and you for damned sure can’t teleport yourself off this rock.

What’s a fellow to do?

Well, I figured that one out, too. It’s this. What I’m to do is simple: I’m to not change what I’m doing. The hell you say? Yep. That’s it.

So, while I originally said there were only twenty-one books in the series, and the last three are prequels, and they’re all planned and they’re all titled, and there are book covers for them, and all that stuff…well forget it. Just chalk that up to Wier living in the future. That’s the beautiful—and at the same time, chilling—thing about the future: it never ever ever not in a million years actually arrives.

What do I have to tell you that you can look forward to, then?

This. I’ll name those ten books after this one. Then, when I’m finished with them, we’ll see what else Bill Travis has to say. I’m assuming it’s quite the lot.

Here are the books forthcoming that we know about:

Mexico Fever
The Lone Star Express
Trinity Trio
Buffalo Bayou Blues
Reveille In Red
Bexar County Line
The Long Goodnight

And the prequels:

Wolf Country

And one book of Bill Travis short stories:

Leaving Extreme

That’s the planned series. But what about the unplanned books? I dunno. Couldn’t tell ya. Couldn’t even guess. But I can tell you this: if I’m still here, if I’ve still got my most valuable resource, my mind, and if I can still string words together, there will be more.

“Why?” you might ask.

Because. Because you’ve been good to me. Because Bill has been good to me. Because I pay my debts, whatever they may be. And because I think I love all of you.

There. I said it.

Okay, that’s enough, now.

See you on the trail.

George Wier
Austin, Texas


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